Former Vice President Dick Cheney is once again attacking President Barack Obama’s national security record, this time on the 11th anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks that took place on the Bush Administration’s watch.
Through a spokeswoman, Cheney told conservative website The Daily Caller that “If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.”
“Those who deserve the credit are the men and women in our military and intelligence communities who worked for many years to track him down,” he continued. “They are the ones who deserve the thanks of a grateful nation.”
As usual, in his rush to attack the president, Cheney skipped over the key facts. Obama has never claimed “sole credit” for the killing of bin Laden; as Media Matters for America points out, he has repeatedly thanked and praised the troops and intelligence officers who made the raid possible.
Furthermore, a key portion of Obama’s speech at last week’s Democratic convention was dedicated to thanking our servicemen and women. Republican nominee Mitt Romney made no such gesture — something that Cheney wouldn’t know, as he did not make the trip to Tampa (much to the relief of his fellow Republicans.)
That Cheney would attempt to use intelligence briefings as a weapon to attack President Obama — on September 11th, of all days — is especially outrageous. As Kurt Eichenwald revealed in a New York Times op-ed, the Bush White House received repeated briefings about an imminent al Qaeda attack in the months leading up to September 11th, culminating with the infamous memo titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Despite these increasingly alarmed warnings, Cheney and his cohorts did nothing.
Perhaps if Cheney and President Bush had better participated in their intelligence briefings, we wouldn’t be mourning the loss of 3,000 Americans today.
Photo credit: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File